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Twitter is making some small design tweaks to make its app easier to use

Which means Twitter users will probably freak out.

An illustration of two blue birds arguing. Their word bubbles contain Twitter emoji. Recode

Your Twitter app will soon look different from how you remembered it, especially if you use an iPhone.

The company is making a number of small design tweaks to its app with the hope that it will make Twitter easier for newbies to navigate and interact with.

The most significant change is that Twitter is adding a new user profile photo button in the upper left-hand corner of the iOS app; it already uses this design on Android.

When you click that photo, a menu that includes settings and privacy controls will slide out from the left-hand side of the phone screen. That new profile photo will replace the “me” tab that was previously along the bottom of the iOS app.


Twitter is also making some smaller design tweaks, like changing user profile pictures from squares to circles and changing the “reply” button on tweets to a speech bubble instead of an arrow. The speech bubble design is used by other services, including Facebook and Instagram, which means they’re probably pretty familiar to people.

“More intuitive icons make it easier to engage with Tweets — especially if you’re coming to Twitter for the first time,” the company explained in a blog post.

None of these moves are mind-blowing, but Twitter will undoubtedly be full of grouchy users complaining about the changes on Thursday. Some may ask why Twitter is swapping circular photos for square photos instead of focusing on more important challenges, like curbing abuse. (Remember the backlash when Twitter moved from faves to hearts?!)

Of course, Twitter is trying to solve abuse issues, too. And it’s possible that Thursday’s changes won’t have any impact on whether or not people understand or engage with the product. But the knock on Twitter is that it has always been a difficult product to use, and these changes might make it easier.

The new designs are rolling out Thursday as part of a free app update.

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